On Dec. 12, 2008 a hit-and-run driver severely damaged the fence surrounding the Veterans Memorial located at Diligent Fire Company No. 3 in the Heights section of Jim Thorpe.

Thanks to the labor and dedication of fire company members and others, the monument, and the fence surrounding, it have been restored and expanded.

Veterans and members of the Diligent Fire Company recently took part in a rededication ceremony along with residents of the community.

The rededication began with an invocation by the Rev. James J. Ward, followed by the singing of the national anthem by Marissa Miller and the recitation of the pledge of allegiance by Erin McArdle.

After comments by Carbon County Director of Veteran's Affairs Henry Desrosiers, a history of the Diligent Fire Company monument was recounted by Ken McArdle.

Special thanks were given to Robert Hydro, who repaired and restored the damaged fence surrounding the Veterans Memorial, and to Doug Rontz who made the four new memorial signs which are now a part of the memorial.

The four signs include "A Soldier's Prayer," "A Fireman's Prayer," a memorial for the 343 Firemen who lost their lives on Sept. 11, 2001 while saving lives after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, and a memorial in memory of Pvt. John T. Stahler who died in World War II and Sgt. Andrew (A.J.) Baddick who died in Iraq on Sept. 30, 2003.

During the rededication ceremony, Sgt. Baddick's mother, Ann Adams, was presented with a smaller framed copy of the sign memorializing her son.

In addition to the four new memorial signs, the Veterans Memorial also includes a large stone bearing a plaque with the names of the 13 men from Mauch Chunk and Upper Mauch Chunk who died defending our freedom in World War II.

There is also a 1800s era military cannon mounted in granite and dedicated to those who served during the Korean War.